Fueling the mind while on the mend

Despite it being the middle of spring break and a holiday, the classroom at the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children was open for business. And the kids weren’t complaining!

Ten-year-old Sumit Subedhi was born with a condition that caused one of his legs to grow longer than the other, so he is in HRDC to “grow” some new bone in his shorter leg. With an external fixator, it’s not a complicated process, but it is a lengthy one. He has spent the last three months in the hospital and has four or five more to go. “The HRDC school is great. If it wasn’t here I would have to repeat grade five, but I even sat my exam here, so will be able to go up to grade six now.”

Binita Tamang completed grade five in her village school a couple of weeks ago, before coming to HRDC, but she will be starting grade six in HRDC’s classroom. “This is so much better than my village school. I’ve got three or four months to go before I leave HRDC and I know I will learn better here.”

HRDC’s talented multi-grade teacher, Narayani Adhikary, left a private school to take up the post at HRDC. I asked her what was better about teaching at HRDC than her previous job. “Absolutely everything,” she replied.

The classroom seats about 30 children, and in 2016 Miss Adhikary taugh over 800 patients, from preschool to grade 12.